Experienced Irish wideman Jonny Hayes (Free) and inexperienced Mexican left back Jesus Gomez $490k RC) joined the club. We needed more options on the left side of the pitch.
Back on the pitch, in front of our home fans, we spent ninety minutes peppering Orlando City’s goal (12 shots to 2, 11 on target!) but somehow only came away with a 0-0 draw. Omar Kharbin didn’t cover himself in glory… but the Orlando goalkeeper did!
We bounced back with a 1-0 win in Salt Lake courtesy of a fourth goal of the campaign from Reuven Niemeijer. he tucked home soon after we’d had a goal disallowed for offside in yet another match that we dominated. We then won 2-1 away to New York City with red hot Niemeijer and top scorer Rios on the scoresheet. Despite conceding a late goal, we held on. Following that, we made ten changes to the XI that started in Atalanta… and won 3-0! Stand-in shotstopper Matt Bersano performed heroics to keep the match goalless before captain for the day Judson put us a goal up. Siad Haji and an Omar Kharbin rocket sealed the deal. Sixteen-year-old winger Reece Banks was outstanding on debut as was the unheralded Carlos Fierro on the opposite flank. Fierro was then on the scoresheet (For the first time this season) to help us see off Philadelphia Union by a solitary goal.
Our winning streak came to an end against Seattle Sounders though we came from behind to rescue a point. What’s that saying about buses? Fierro bagged again!
We moved onto our final match of the campaign and, having not received a red card all season, found ourselves reduced to nine men inside fifteen minutes! Captain Florian Jungworth as well as Siad Haji received their marching orders. Despite this, Omar Kharbin put us a goal ahead. We conceded an equaliser only to win a penalty, see Portland Timbers reduced to ten men themselves, then witness Kharbin score from the spot. Eric Calvillo then got himself sent off, meaning it was ten against eight. Making a rare appearance, he found himself added to the list of suspended players heading into the play-offs. The home side equalised via a late counter but we still could and should’ve won! I offer my apologies for our sinful performance. Three red cards in one match is not the example to set.